Are Warn Winches Made in the USA?

If you like to buy American and you're planning to buy a winch, you've certainly asked yourself whether Warn products are made in the US.

But:

It's way more complicated than a simple yes or no.

So let's talk a little about globalization, money, marketing, and whether your Warn was made in the USA.

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  • Made in China Warn Winches: The Old VR vs. The New VR EVO

  • Want a Made In the USA Warn Winch?

    Warn Winch Machining in Clackamas, Oregon, USA

    Here's the deal:

    If you want to have a real-deal "Made in the USA" Warn winch, you need to buy an older one (and maybe rebuild it).

    Warn's non-VR winches are assembled in Oregon with some globally sourced parts. They continue to manufacture substantial parts of their winches at the Oregon factory, like machining cases and gears.

    The Warn VR line is fully made in China.

    What Does Made in the USA Even Mean?

    In the US, we have legal definitions of what "Made in the USA" means.

    The US Federal Trade Commission says:

    [When a] marketer makes an unqualified claim that a product is 'Made in USA,' it should, at the time the representation is made, possess and rely upon a reasonable basis that the product is in fact all or virtually all made in the United States.

    They go on to clarify that the "Made in the USA" determination designation depends on a variety of factors, like:

    1. The final assembly or processing happening in the US
    2. How much of the total manufacturing costs are come from US parts and manufacturing
    3. The amount of processing required to turn "foreign content" into the final product

    It seems pretty likely that Warn has toed the line on some of these factors over the years.

    However, you won't find any "Made in the USA" claims on Warn winches on the packaging or in their online materials.

    Things Have Changed...

    All Warn products used to be manufactured in Oregon.

    But, like most companies that produce products, they participate in the "global supply chain".

    What the what?

    This just means that they source some parts from other countries. Like any other company, they do stuff to stay competitive and part of their strategy is sourcing non-US parts.

    This means you might get an M8000 with a solenoid made in Brazil or a  9.5Ti with a motor made in Mexico.

    Should You Buy a Warn?

    Warn 8274 Jig in Clackamas, Oregon, USA

    Two things you should know:

    1. Warn gets to decide how well their product is made. Most keyboard warriors think overseas equals bad quality, but the real responsibility lies with the product importer. Warn designs the products, defines tolerances, does inspections, and tests end products to make sure that non-US manufacturers are doing exactly what they want.
    2. You probably aren't going to find another winch company that employs as many US workers as Warn. Warn is the largest American winch manufacturer and employs close to 400 workers in Oregon.

    There are tons of Made-in-China winches out there right now - Smittybilt, TuffStuff, and Badlands are just a few.

    You can go buy a Chinese-made, good-enough 9500 lb. Smittybilt for around $300, and lots of people do.

    An "entry-level" Oregon-assembled M8000 Warn winch will run you around $600. Warn winches typically:

    • Last longer
    • Have better warranties (Even the VR line)
    • Have excellent parts availability (Try ordering a replacement Badlands winch drum sometime...)
    • Are often underrated

    You've clearly got lots of options, so read up and pick the best winch that fits your budget.

    What About Warn Bumpers and Other Products?

    Warn Bumper Fabrication in Clackamas, Oregon, USA

    Warn's bumpers are made in the USA at the Clackamas, Oregon factory.

    As for other Warn products, some are made in the USA and some are made in other countries.

Last updated: September 4, 2019